News & Analysis

  1. google-glass-sad-guy

    GOP Congressman wants to investigate Google because no one can find his favorite movie in search

    Google has plenty of high-profile friends in the US government, particularly within the military and surveillance communities. But one US Congressman isn’t backing down over what he believes to be a gross injustice committed by the search giant. Is he mad about the company’s involvement with secret wage theft agreements? Or its close ties to the NSA? Or its lucrative deals with military subcontractors, some of which are of questionable repute? No, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher is outraged because he thinks Google may…
  3. fcc-tom-wheeler

    The FCC tells Comcast and Verizon to stop screwing customers. But will they listen?

    The Federal Communications Commission has issued a statement reminding Internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon that they can’t lie about the speed of a consumer’s service. The statement doesn’t establish a new rule — rather, it reminds ISPs that the agency is paying attention to their activities even as it lets them undermine the principles of an open Internet. Here’s what chairman Tom Wheeler, whose proposed net neutrality rules led the Guardian to claim that he intends to “
  4. Cut up credit cards

    Circle responds to complaints that its bitcoin purchases are treated as cash advances

    Two months after revealing the consumer-friendly bitcoin wallet and exchange that I dubbed “Bitcoin Bank of America,” Circle Financial began granting beta access earlier this week. Early reviews have been strong, with users praising the platform’s usability and low-fee structure. Although the number of users with access were small, the feedback seemed to validate the company’s many promises. Unfortunately, bitcoin forums (and my Inbox) began filling with complaints about a particular issue with the company’s credit card…
  5. dennis-crowley-foursquare

    Foursquare may be challenged, but Crowley’s job is not in jeopardy

    Foursquare is challenged — no question. Even Bijan Sabet, one of Foursquare’s earliest investors, acknowledged as much at our last PandoMonthly when he said: I believe, I gotta tell you. I know there are a lot of haters out there – maybe not in New York, but I know certainly in the San Francisco. I am so committed in pulling for these guys. Hence a bold “prediction” that landed in the comments section of a Pando post discussing the…
  7. facebook_knife

    These researchers are studying Facebook’s News Feed to make algorithms more accountable

    Last month, it was revealed that Facebook had conducted an experiment on nearly 700,000 members without their knowledge or consent to determine how its News Feed algorithm affects users’ emotions and moods. Showing users more positive content resulted in them sharing more positive posts, and vice versa with negative content. Many users, journalists, and data scientists were at once outraged at the ethical implications of Facebook toying with emotions, and disturbed by the power its algorithms hold over the well-being of…
  8. foursquare

    Foursquare is dead. Long live Foursquare

    Foursquare has given the Verge an exclusive look at its new branding and application, the first major update the company has revealed since it split its service into two parts earlier this year. The new application is nothing like its predecessors: it has a new icon, a revised color scheme, and a purpose that couldn’t be further from the Foursquare app introduced at SXSW in 2009. The update follows repeated efforts by the company to leave behind its past as a check-in utility to focus…
  9. Mt Gox Victim

    Mt. Gox creditors leave Tokyo court frustrated, but with little new information

    Today was a coulda-been type of day for bitcoin as creditors of the now defunct Mt. Gox exchange met with bankruptcy trustee Nobuaki Kobayashi in a Tokyo court, leaving with more questions than answers. It was the first chance for an in-person discussion between these two sides. Approximately 100 of the exchange’s reported 127,000 creditors were in attendance, most traveling from within the country. The private proceedings were held in Japanese with all English-speaking attendees told to provide their own interpreters (the court…
  11. Anderson_ali

    Startups Anonymous: A Motivational Speech From The Greatest Entrepreneur, Muhammad Ali

    “I am the greatest!” Muhammad Ali called himself the greatest — In all of boxing and all the history of boxing, among all the famous older, stronger, better boxers of his time, Ali had the audacity to stand on a podium and call himself the greatest.

  12. bad_apple

    Apple says its latest security hole is no big deal; researcher calls BS

    The security researcher who revealed during the HOPE/X conference earlier this month that there are back doors installed on 600 million iOS devices has responded to Apple’s claim that the back doors are used only for diagnostic and enterprise purposes. The gist? “That’s bullshit.” The initial report focused on small utilities that allowed anyone in possession of a file used in the connection between an iOS device and a PC to retrieve unencrypted data from the device. Apple confirmed that…
  14. elsewhere

    On unsolicited criticism

    I had a new experience a few weeks ago when I was speaking at Velocity. I gave a keynote to 2,000 people; throughout the following day, a half-dozen strangers came up to me to supply unsolicited criticism of my presentation tone…  I asked Seth, “Wait, are you saying this is gendered?” He nodded, “Yeah, I think it could be.” I was blown away. I was still crushed, but at least I could begin to try and process what had…
  15. ny-times-native-advertising

    New York Times adman gushes over native advertising performance

    Having dispensed with its native advertising suspicious executive editor, The New York Times remains tremendously bullish on the new institution. For all the editorial damnation of it as the doomed attempt of a dying industry to save it soul and the opinion polls tut-tutting about how we feel tricked by it all, The Grey Lady is becoming one of native advertising’s biggest cheerleaders. At the Native Advertising Summit in San Francisco this afternoon, The New York Times’ VP…
  16. Crystal Ball

    Microsoft gives Wall St. mixed signals with today’s bi-polar earnings report

    Companies in turnaround often plead to investors for time to let the changes they’re planning take root. Sometimes, as is appearing to be the case with Yahoo, time ticks on with little sign of improvement. Other times, as with HP, recovery is slow and meager. Microsoft’s turnaround under Satya Nadella is a species unto itself. Only five months into his tenure as Microsoft’s CEO, the company is showing both signs of pain and of improvement. The…
  18. SONY DSC

    Hall of Mirrors: Wikileaks volunteer helped build Tor, was funded by the Pentagon

    Last week, I wrote an article about the Tor Network, an anonymity tool developed, built, and (currently) financed by the US National Security State: the Pentagon, the State Department, and a CIA spinoff, the International Broadcasting Bureau, that also operates a propaganda outfit aimed at subverting Cuba’s communist regime. While most of the story — Tor’s NatSec sponsors, military functionality, and the people involved  — is relatively straightforward, at times the narrative threads can veer into weird and murky territory. One of these spooky…
  19. conspirej

    Someone inside US Congress is anonymously adding conspiracy theories about Russia, Cuba to Wikipedia

    If you live in the US, you might be pleased to know that your tax dollars are hard at work: Someone has been anonymously editing Wikipedia to blame the Cubans and the Russians for… uh… secretly spreading conspiracy theories.  And the edits are coming from inside the House! According to @congressedits, a Twitter account that monitors anonymous Wikipedia edits from inside congress, the Wiki page for “Moon landing conspiracy theories” was just edited by someone inside the US…
  20. hourglass

    Dragged down by its parent company Bidz, Modnique ceases operations, lays off 300

    Modnique, a Los Angeles-based online retailer with 300 employees across five offices and four countries, has ceased operations and may be forced to liquidate. The company’s website currently reads “Our site is under construction. Please check back soon.” But the reality is that the company’s lender has instituted foreclosure proceedings. Worse, the situation is not entirely one of its own making. Stepping back a bit, Modnique was created in 2011 as an experimental flash sales business within then-public parent…

The Week in Review